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The VRR: Miles Austin and Orlando Scandrick Ready for Breakthrough Seasons

Two players who find themselves on the fringe of a starting role with the Cowboys are wide receiver Miles Austin and cornerback Orlando Scandrick. Both players are known for their speed, and each have already shown their toughness on the field. While Scandrick is battling fellow 2008 draftee Mike Jenkins for the right CB spot, Austin has to unseat veteran Patrick Crayton to earn the number two receiving position opposite Roy Williams.

Whether Austin starts or comes in as the third WR, he is ready to be the deep threat for the offense this season. With a gunslinger at quarterback and an offensive coordinator versed in the vertical passing attack, Austin should see plenty of playtime.

Much more VRR after the jump.

While he is flattered the Cowboys are looking at him to fill Owens’ shoes, Austin is doing his best not to get caught up in the comparison.

"I’m focusing on doing the things that I can do," Austin said. "What anyone else says doesn’t matter to me. I have to focus on myself and try to improve my game. I work hard. I work on things like I always have. There is just more of an opportunity this year."

Scandrick is ready to prove that he's an every-down corner, and he has been living up to his word in training camp. He does want to start, though. Nevertheless, he's too good of a player for the Cowboys not to give him ample playtime.

"I want to start, but if that doesn't happen, what am I supposed to do?" Scandrick said. "Pout and go in the tank? No, I can't. I just have to compete and improve and then, I guess, embrace my role."

Backup quarterback Jon Kitna has found a brotherly bond with Tony Romo. Coach Phillips says that their competitiveness has fed off of each other.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips says competition is developing between the two, but it's friendly. He called Kitna "a live wire" who's always stirring the pot.

"He'll challenge Tony like, ‘I'm going to complete more passes than you today,' or ‘I'm going to throw it to this spot better than you,'" Phillips said. "(Kitna) is that kind of guy. He's always got something going like that, and I think it helps Tony."

Speed plus potential should equate to an increased role for Felix Jones in the Dallas offense.

"We had a lot of time to do different things during the offseason, where they find me at different positions," Jones said. "I believe they have the confidence in me to have a little bit more of the playbook (for me)."

He has been flanked wide and sent out on routes at times in camp, while motioning back to the backfield at others. On some formations, he shares the backfield with Barber.

Ding! Ding! Ding! The Cowboys' first camp fight was a super-heavyweight matchup between Colombo and Ratliff.

Jay Ratliff squared off with Marc Colombo after an (impressive) interception by Bobby Carpenter. On the return, Ratliff ear-holed Colombo; Colombo got up haymakers-a-flying, and the two tussled for a while they were seperated by, among others, Terence Newman and Sam Hurd.

But it wasn't yet over.

Ratliff got back in Colombo's face again after the next play, taking an unconvinced swing at the "Boston Brawler." Colombo didn't retaliate though, and like that, the first donnybrook of camp was at its end.

Marcus Spears feels better from losing twenty-one pounds this offseason. He came into camp at 307.

The team released safety Jerome Carter (my pet cat!) to sign Robert Brewster to a four-year contract.

Guard Travis Bright is hoping that learning behind Leonard Davis will help him continue the success he had in college.

At right guard Bright made the pass-happy Cougars an effective inside running team. At the NFL combine Bright had the 2nd highest bench press reps (34 reps of 225 lbs.). He can max out at 540 pounds.

Although Bright went undrafted, the Dallas Cowboys signed the behemoth and is trying to stick with "America's Team".

"Being a rookie is a big challenge," said Bright recently at Cowboys practice. "There's a lot of incredible athletes. I've got Leonard Davis (current right guard for the Cowboys)that I can learn a lot from... it's an unbelievable experience and tough as hell."

Remember to watch the HOF induction of the "Bullet" Bob Hayes Saturday, 7 p.m. (EST) on NFL Network.

Jerry Jones isn't afraid to admit that expectations for last season's team were lofty. Although the team is not considered by most to win the division, he seems content with the direction it is headed.

"The expectations we had last year for this team have been shifted to this year," Jones said in a 25-minute interview with the Daily News at the Cowboys' training camp in the climate-controlled Alamodome. "Our team is very capable of being a playoff-winning team. We're very capable of that."


"The fact that Wade is really focused - not just focused, but actually doing the defense on a detailed meeting-by-meeting, hour-by-hour basis - is really material to our team as far as one of the biggest things we've done during the offseason," Jones said. "And I think we have more speed there. I think we'll have a better opportunity to be more than we were last year on defense."

Former Cowboys TE Tony Curtis was released by the Chiefs.

Check out this news clip about the best Cowboys websites to read. You don't have to wait long until they mention BTB.

Also, be sure to read Bob Sturm's interview with our very own Rafael Vela. In the hour Q & A, they discuss such topics as Raf's work on the Cowboys Annual, his analysis of last season, and what he will be keeping an eye on in camp. BTW, the MSP Cowboys Annual is still available for sale, click here to get your own collector's copy!

Hat tip to DC_fan for the FanShot.

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